As a basketball enthusiast, there's a special appreciation in my heart for Governor Palin's most recent Facebook note. I believe in sports, I've played them all my life, and I know how much work it takes to excel. I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball. My favorite, even to this day, is basketball. It's the sport where I've always felt the most at home. For me, it's where creativity flourishes, hard work pays off, and games are won--and I'm all about winning.
As an adult player and coach, I still herald the values of the game. Having coached girls high school varsity basketball for years, I understand how hard girls work--and often without the accolades of their male counterparts. They play for the sheer love of the game most of the time.
My last two regular seasons coaching yielded great rewards for my student-athletes. We set records, beat everybody in our conference and beyond who stepped on the court, and earned both the respect and fear of our opponents. My second to last season, we won our conference championship--the first time in the history of the school, and we did it again the next year.
We didn't get to that point accidentally. Our team was made up of a core group of girls who worked hard for years, our team practiced six days a week, and we made it our goal to be the best conditioned team on the floor. The result? Victory.
And after all that hard work, talent, and passion, I cannot imagine anyone--for some political reason--having told my girls they couldn't go to a tournament, especially when the boycott is based on a twisting of the actual law. Let's leave our warped perspectives out of our kids' sports opportunities. They deserve better than that. I agree with Governor Palin: our girls need to do their job and play ball, and our president needs to do his job and secure the border. If President Obama would just do what he's supposed to do, our girls could do what they worked so hard to do, and they wouldn't be caught up in this political madness.
The Governor writes:
Hey Girls, Play Ball!
This has-been ball player/Wasilla Warrior would like to send a shout out of support to the Highland Park High School Giants Girls Basketball Team in Illinois. These girls have been working, having bake sales, and saving money for months in order play in a hoop tournament in Arizona. They’ve won their school’s first conference title in 26 years, but now because a school bureaucrat – an assistant superintendent – wants to play politics, they’re not allowed to play ball.
Keeping girls off the court for political reasons? As I said last night in Illinois: “Them’s fightin’ words.”
The assistant superintendent claims that a trip to Arizona “would not be aligned with our beliefs and values.” But apparently the school has no problem sending kids on trips to China, which has a population control policy that is anti-girl in practice – contributing to female infanticide and abandonment and sex-selective abortions. So, is China – with its many serious human rights violations (too many to list here) – “aligned” with the “values and beliefs” of the school? But our sister-state of Arizona is not? Really? This is ridiculous and totally unfair to the girls who just want to play ball. Going to Arizona to play in a tournament will not endanger them, and the ban sure doesn’t solve the problem of unsecured borders.
These boycotts of Arizona will not help the state or lead to positive change. Economic and political boycotts of our nation’s 48th state will hurt all Arizonans – including all members of the Hispanic community. If people really want to help, they should tell President Obama to do his job: secure the border. If he were to do his job, the good people of Arizona, who have been overwhelmed by violence on their border, would not feel compelled to do it for him.
In the meantime, let’s help the girls “go rogue” and go play ball. Please take a look at this Facebook page set up on their behalf.
Let’s have our own bake sale! Let the girls play ball!
- Sarah Palin
UPDATE: Earlier today, Governor Palin was on with Megyn Kelly discussing this issue. See the video below.